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(The object of my discontent)

What do you call a mother who is intensely sickeningly compulsively jealous of her own daughter?  I'm sure there is some clinical psychological term for it, but right now my judgment is too clouded and I lack all objectivity.  All I know is that my eyes have turned a deep shade of green and it's not pretty.

24-year old daughter, Kellie returned home yesterday afternoon after being on a 3-month adventure that included travel in Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and to add insult to injury, the final stop...Fiji.

Striding confidently across the terminal in Denver, there was my daughter...tall (I swear she grew while she was gone), ridiculously tan, white sparkling teeth, her smile so broad and happy it made me nervous.

I hugged this woman child of mine, hugged her tight, yet distance was in the air and I couldn't figure out the sudden sense of unease as we embraced.

I wanted to say to the nearest waiter, "I'll have what she's having."

We got home where we settled into more details of THE TRIP.  By this time, husband and youngest daughter joined in.  I heard about clusters of stars so bright you felt like you were in a 3D theater reaching out quite certain you could touch them, water so blue and crystal clear you could see the bottom of a bottomless ocean, and a breeze so gentle it pretended to be a cool whisper in a longing ear.

The more my daughter talked, the more depressed I became.  The more the detail, the more my chest tightened, my heart started pounding.  I felt like someone was stepping on me.  I had trouble breathing.

Then my daughter started waxing poetic about America and Americans.  "Americans share a collective consciousness of anger," she pronounced with the wisdom of the Dalai Lama.

My depression turned to rage.

My mind lost track of what she was saying.  All I could think of was packing my bags and running away.  The air became thick and hot.  Thoughts of escape were racing in my head.  Images of foreign lands and no demands were all I could see as my daughter told story after story of a life carefree.

"Maybe I'll come back and maybe I won't", I was thinking as I imagined myself lazily stretched out on a pure white beach.

I started ruminating about a lifetime of caretaking, starting as a young child in a large household where "invisible" was my middle name.  I was the classic middle child, always aiming to please, ready to help.  Paid my way through college, paid my husband's way through graduate school, paid my motherhood dues with four small children that although now grown still seem to need something or other on a regular basis.

My husband was looking knowingly at me from across the room.  He came over to me and said, "You look like you need a hug."  I smiled sweetly as I was thinking, "I DON'T NEED A HUG, I NEED AN AIRPLANE TICKET".

I started to sound like a whiny CEO.

It didn’t help that I was also sick.  Sneezing, sniffling, and coughing were making me even more miserable.  The only thing missing were the violins.

I woke up the next morning with a Nyquil hangover, a little bit sicker and even more dissatisfied.

The phone rang.  A desperate client wanted to set up an appointment ASAP.  She wanted to know what was wrong with her, her marriage.  Her husband took a week off and he was driving her crazy.  "He's invading my space!  He's taking away my privacy!  He's so needy!  What's wrong with ME?"

Talk about the blind leading the blind.

We set up an appointment as I reassured her that there was nothing the matter with her.  I told her my theory about Mother Nature...you know the one...where studies show that women outlive men by 6-8 years.  Women complain about this and I wonder why.  HELLO!  This is Mother Nature's Gift to you...finally some time for YOU.  Time to take care of YOURSELF!  Why do you think there are all those women running around with ecstatic looks on their faces and red and purple hats on their heads?  Quit your complaining!  (I know, I'm such a hypocrite.)

In the midst of my self-indulgent pity party, my wise Bohemian daughter (how could she not brush her hair for 3 months and still look so gorgeous) came to my bedroom complaining of severe rib pain, nauseousness and weakness.

"I need to go to the doctor Mom.  I think there's something really wrong with me."

I must have become a sociopath overnight as I thought to myself, "Probably just some trapped gas under her rib cage from spending all that time on the plane back from paradise."

Of course after expensive emergency room visit, she was just fine.  A little fatigued from the long flight home.  Poor baby.

There is no rest for the wicked.  Which in my case is so unfair.  I've never had a chance to be wicked.

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